Marine Mammalogy – MS 311
                               Spring 2009 – GL 124
Instructor: Shannon Gowans email: phone: 8388 office: GMSL119A
Office hours: MWF 9-1:30 and M 1-5:30
Text: Marine Mammal Biology: An evolutionary approach. Edited by A. R. Hoelzel
Lecture: room: GMSL 124; MWF 11:45-12:35

Primary course objectives:
   1) To acquire an overview of marine mammal biology. What are the major differences
      between marine and terrestrial mammals and how have these differences evolved.
   2) To obtain realistic experience as a biological consultant working on marine mammal
      conservation issues.
   3) To acquire an understanding of conservation issues (local and global) facing marine
   4) To discuss current issues in marine mammal science and develop oral
      communication skills

Attendance at every lecture is mandatory. If, due to extenuating circumstances, you must
miss a lecture please see me for the information that you will miss or have missed.

List of scientific topics to for assignment            DUE FEB 16               5%
Biological background to assignment issue              DUE MAR 13              25%
Final report (including summary)                       DUE APR 13              20%
Midterm                                                MAR 25                  15%
Final exam                                             EXAM WEEK               20%
Class participation                                    THROUGHOUT              10%
Oral presentation                                      MAY 4-8                   5%


All assignments must be handed in to the professor or to the Marine Science office by 4:00
pm on the due day. 10% off for each week-day late until the assignment is discussed in
class, then 0 (except for legitimate medical reasons, with note from doctor).

 You will choose a topical issue to examine from a practical perspective. You may sign up
for topics on Monday February 2 in class, or later (but you will have less choice). A list of
the issues will be provided together with "starter" references. Only one student per issue
(sign-up order will be randomly determined).

Generally you will be asked to provide advice on the issue to an organization which must
make a management/conservation decision. Do this in several steps:

1. Check the basic information on the issue. Then make a list of scientific topics about
which you need information (just a list). Hand in by Monday February 16.
2. Produce a background summary paper on the scientific sides of the issue (e.g. biology
of species concerned, action of threat). Be sure to focus on your specific question and give
only relevant background information. Cite and list sources. Wherever possible cite and use
references in the published and peer reviewed literature for scientific facts. For opinions,
concerns, legal information you can use the internet (but cite your sources – at least 2 non-
internet sources for every internet source). The rough order of preference for sources of
information is:
 a) Published, peer-reviewed primary journals (e.g. Canadian Journal of Zoology, Nature)
 b) Published, peer-reviewed review journals (e.g. Mammal Review)
 c) Edited collections of papers (e.g. “Handbook of Marine Mammals” series)
 d) Non- peer reviewed journals and technical reports (e.g. Scientific Reports of the Whales
Research Institute of Tokyo)
 e) Scientific books (e.g. “The ecology of whales and dolphins”)
 f) Semi-popular journals (e.g. Oceanus, Scientific American)
 g) Semi-popular books (e.g. “Seals of the World”)
 h) Published abstracts (e.g. from Biennial Marine Mammal Conferences)
 i) Internet (unless reproduction of something in one of categories above), popular books,
Maximum length: 4 single spaced pages (excluding reference list and figures).
Use the format of the Marine Mammal Science for your paper, especially the references, and
reference list (although you should not double-space).
Hand in by Friday March 13.

3. Produce a final report, summarizing the different sides of the issue, the scientific
background, and explaining what action you think should be taken and why. This should be
a document suitable for reading quickly and easily by the executive of the organization that
commissioned the report. Maximum length: 3 single spaced pages including a 200 word
(maximum) summary which should be comprehensible to someone with no background on
the issue. You do not need to reference the statements in this document. Hand in by
Monday April 13.

4. Give a presentation as though to the executive of the organization that commissioned
the report during class in the week of May 4-8. You will have five minutes for the
presentation (you will be cut off after this), and should introduce the issue, give your
recommendation, and explain why.

5. Hand in a draft question for the final exam by May 4 (optional). The question should be
answerable by students who listened to your presentation and thought about what you said.
The answer should be no more than 3 sentences. Good questions may be used in the real
final exam and you can answer your own question.

Note: none of these issues are clear-cut, and arguments can be made in different directions

On March 25; a series of short-answer questions on topics covered in lectures up to and
including March 13 (there may be a little choice).

Final exam:
During the exam week, a series of short-answer questions on the lectures as well as the oral
presentations of the assignments.


“If you have a disability or believe that you qualify for accommodations under the Americans with
Disabilities Act or other laws, please contact Disability Support Services at extension 8248 or via email at as soon as possible. Appropriate accommodations can only be arranged through that office,
and may not be made retroactively.” These arrangements must be made at least 1 week BEFORE
the accommodation is required.

If, for any reason, Eckerd College is evacuated, students who leave campus for stays of
overnight or longer should bring their text, readings, notes and syllabus so that they are
ready to continue their course work. In such an event, check your Eckerd e-mail from your
off-campus location and continue with the course work according to the syllabus and as
delivered via Cyber Lyceum.
“On my honor, as an Eckerd College student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, or steal, nor to tolerate these
behaviors in others.”
You are required to write “Pledged” and sign your name on all written assignments and
quizzes to indicate that your work is consistent with this code.
According to Eckerd College policy, academic dishonesty is considered any act of cheating
or plagiarism. Any act of academic dishonesty will result in written notification to the
Registrar of the incident. In addition, it is grounds for an “F” in this course. The sanction
for a second offense at the college is usually suspension. I take this seriously and expect that
you will as well.
Tentative schedule
Monday                         Wednesday                     Friday
                               January 28                    January 30
                               Introduction                  Discussion: are marine
                                                             mammals in crisis?
February 2                     February 4                    February 6
Diversity                      Zoogeography                  Evolution
Chapter 1                      Chapter 1                     Chapter 2
Sign up for assignment topic
February 9                     February 11                   February 13
Evolution                      Anatomy                       Discussion: Soviet whaling
Chapter 2                      Chapter 3
February 16                    February 18                   February 20
Anatomy                        Physiology                    Physiology
Chapter 3                      Chapter 3                     Chapter 3
February 23                    February 25                   February 27
Brains and senses              Acoustics – Peter Simard      Acoustics – Peter Simard
Chapter 4 and 5                Chapter 6
March 2                        March 4                       March 6
Discussion:                    Distribution                  Movement
Writing a scientific paper     Chapter 7                     Chapter 7
March 9                        March 11                      March 13
Movement                       Marine Mammals and            Discussion:
Chapter 7                      Oceanography – Peter Simard   BACKGROUND PAPER
March 14 – 23 Spring break
March 23 – no class            March 25                      March 27
                               MIDTERM                       Feeding
                                                             Chapter 8
March 30                       April 1                       April 3
Feeding                        Energetics                    Discussion
Chapter 8                      Chapter 9

April 6                        April 8                       April 10
Energetics                     Reproduction                  NO CLASSES EASTER
Chapter 9                      Chapter 10

April 13                       April 15                      April 17
Reproduction                   Population genetics           Discussion:
Chapter 10                     Chapter 11
April 20                       April 22                      April 24
Population genetics - Carrie   Group living                  Group living
Chapter 11                     Chapter 12                    Chapter 12
April 27                       April 29                      May 1
Intelligence                   Conservation and Management   Conservation and Management
Chapter 13                     Chapter 14                    Chapter 14
May 4                          May 6                         May 8
Oral presentations             Oral presentations            Oral presentations
                               Exam week - final
                                    MARINE MAMMALOGY 2009

                                  ASSIGNMENT TOPICS
*Papers that are not available through Eckerd Library – but you can get from me.

1. The Antarctic krill fishery: What is the risk to cetaceans?
Currently, around 100,000 tons of krill are harvested from the Antarctic Ocean each year. In
the last 20 years, Antarctic krill harvesting has been as high as 500,000 tons/year. Baleen
whales such as minkes, blue whales, and humpback whales as well as some seals depend on
this krill as their primary food source. Further, many odontocetes such as sperm whales,
killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and hourglass dolphins indirectly require krill as they
often feed on squid which feeds on krill. Concern has been raised that the krill fishery may
be impeding the recovery of some of these species and perhaps may cause a decline in their
populations in the long-run. There is continual pressure to expand the krill harvest. The
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has
asked you to review the literature and based on the potential impact on marine mammals,
recommend (1) if you believe the krill fishery may be substantially affecting marine
mammals, (2) whether the krill fishery should be allowed to continue, and (3) if so, what
measures could reduce the impact on marine mammals.

Friedlaender, A. S., Halpin, P. N., Qian, S. S., Lawson, G. L., Wiebe, P. H., Thiele, D., and Read, A. J. (2006).
    Whale distribution in relation to prey abundance and oceanographic processes in shelf waters of the
    Western Antarctic Peninsula. Mar. Ecol. Prog., 317:297–310.
*Mori, M. and Butterworth, D. S. (2006). A first step towards modelling the krill- predator dynamics of the
    Antarctic ecosystem. CCAMLR Science, 13:217–277.
Thomson, R. B., Butterworth, D. S., Boyd, I. L., and Croxall, J. P. (2000). Modeling the consequences of
    Antarctic krill harvesting on Antarctic fur seals. Ecol. Appl., 10(6):1806–1819.

2. Cetacean meat: What’s the big deal?
Japan continues to harvest marine mammals under the premise of scientific research and
then market the meat. In 2006, an independent poll conducted by the Nippon Research
Centre and commissioned by Greenpeace, found that approximately 95% of Japanese never
or rarely eat whale meat. Japan‟s largest grocery store chain, the Okuwa Supermarket
Corporation, recently stopped selling dolphin meat in their stores because of high levels of
mercury. The Okuwa Supermarket Corporation are considering removing all whale meat
from their shelves as well (*fictional), and have asked you to advise them on the issue. Is
eating whale meat really any different than eating other types of meat? Taking into account
factors such as the population statuses of the whales hunted, possible illegal catch, ethics,
and toxicity, advise the grocery chain on their position.

*Baker, C. S., Lukoschek, V., Lavery, S., Dalebout, M. L., Yong-Un, M., Endo, T., and Funahashi, N. (2006).
   Incomplete reporting of whale, dolphin and porpoise 'bycatch‟ revealed by molecular monitoring of Korean
   markets. Anim. Conservat., 9(4):474–482.
Booth, S. and Zeller, D. (2005). Mercury, food webs, and marine mammals: Implications of diet and climate
   change for human health. Environ. Health Perspect., 113(5):521–526.
*Endo, T., Haraguchi, K., Cipriano, F., Simmonds, M. P., Hotta, Y., and Sakata, M. (2004). Contamination by
   mercury and cadmium in the cetacean products from Japanese market. Chemosphere, 54(11):1653–1662.
*Simmonds, M. P., Haraguchi, K., Endo, T., Cipriano, F., Palumbi, S. R., and Troisi, G. M. (2002). Human
    health significance of organochlorine and mercury contaminants in Japanese whale meat. J. Toxicol.
    Environ. Health, 65(17):1211–1235.

3. Gray whales and seismic surveys off Sakhalin, Russia
Since the mid 1990s, there have been plans and development of two large scale oil and gas
projects (Sakhalin I and Sakhalin II) off of Sakhalin Island, Russia. Sakhalin I, alone, is
projected to produce around 2.3 billion barrels of oil and 485 billion cubic meters of natural
gas over its lifespan. A portion of the critically endangered western gray whale‟s (Eschrichtius
robustus) feeding area overlaps with these activities. This population was previously heavily
impacted by whaling and is thought to number around 100 individuals with perhaps only 23
females left. Recently, an independent review panel for the World Conservation Union
(IUCN) documented many issues with Sakhalin II regarding the conservation of gray whales
and other marine biodiversity. You have been hired by a mutual fund company. They have
been receiving complaints from their clients that they shouldn‟t be investing in Shell or
Exxon (the main companies behind these oil projects) because of the recent activities in
Sakhalin. They want you to review the reports and scientific literature available on this topic
and advise them what their position should be. What is the status of the western grey whale?
Is the threat to western gray whales substantial enough to warrant pulling their shares out of
these companies? Take into account factors such as noise, increased risk of ship strikes, oil
exposure, and physical disturbance of habitat.

Gailey, G., Wuersig, B., and McDonald, T. L. (2007). Abundance, behavior, and movement patterns of western
    gray whales in relation to a 3-D seismic survey, Northeast Sakhalin Island, Russia. Environ. Monit. Assess.,
Gordon, J., Gillespie, D., Potter, J., Frantzis, A., Simmonds, M., Swift, R., and Thompson, D. (2003). A review
    of the effects of seismic surveys on marine mammals. Mar. Technol. Soc. J., 37:16–34.
Johnson, S. R., Richardson, W. J., Yazvenko, S. B., Blokhin, S. A., Gailey, G., Jenkerson, M. R., Meier, S. K.,
    Melton, H. R., Newcomer, M. W., Perlov, A. S., Rutenko, S. A., Wursig, B., Martin, C. R., and Egging, D.
    E. (2007). A western gray whale mitigation and monitoring program for a 3-D seismic survey, Sakhalin
    Island, Russia. Environ. Monit. Assess., 134(1-3):1–19.
Rutenko, A. N., Borisov, S. V., Gritsenko, A. V., and Jenkerson, M. R. (2007). Calibrating and monitoring the
    western gray whale mitigation zone and estimating acoustic transmission during a 3D seismic survey,
    Sakhalin Island, Russia. Environ. Monit. Assess., 134(1-3):21–44.
Yazvenko, S. B., McDonald, T. L., Blokhin, S. A., Johnson, S. R., Meier, S. K., Melton, H. R., Newcomer, M.
    W., Nielson, R. M., Vladimirov, V. L., and Wainwright, P. W. (2007). Distribution and abundance of
    western gray whales during a seismic survey near Sakhalin Island, Russia. Environ. Monit. Assess., 134(1-
**all references available online – see me if you need help
Sakhalin I project:
Impacts of Sakhalin II Phase 2 on Western North Pacific gray whales and related biodiversity, Independent
Scientific Review Panel report for the IUCN
Sakhalin Energy

4. Hawaiian high speed superferry
As of December 6th 2007 the high speed, 350 foot, 866 passenger, and 282 car “Hawaii
Superferry” named “Alakai” has resumed service between the islands of Hawaii. The route
passes through the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
protecting some of the world‟s most important habitat for humpback whales. Nearly two-
thirds (7000-9000) of the entire North Pacific population of humpback whales migrate to
Hawaii each winter for breeding, calving, and nursing. Originally, the state Department of
Transportation had exempted the Superferry from conducting an environmental assessment
although due to a court decision an assessment is now underway. Governer L. Lingle
reversed a court decision that prohibited the ferry from running while the assessment is
underway. The Superferry company explains that they have dedicated on-board observers,
night-vision equipment, video cameras, and on-board radar to spot humpbacks on the
surface and avoid collisions. You have been commissioned by a local conservation group to
evaluate this ferry. Could this route cause serious problems for the humpback whales? What
could be done to mitigate any threats? Are the current observational measures sufficient?
What legislation is in place to protect humpback whales in Hawaii? Should this ferry be
allowed to continue based on current legislation?

Barlow, J. (2006). Cetacean abundance in Hawaiian waters estimated from a summer/fall survey in 2002. Mar.
    Mamm. Sci., 22(2):446–464.
Calambokidis, J., Steiger, G. H., Straley, J. M., Herman, L. M., Cerchio, S., Salden, D. R., Urban, J., Jacobsen, J.
    K., von Ziegesar, O., Balcomb, K. C., Gabriele, C. M., Dahlheim, M. E., Uchida, S., Ellis, G., Miyamura, Y.,
    de Guevara, P. L., Yamaguchi, M., Sato, F., Mizroch, S. A., Schlender, L., Rasmussen, K., Barlow, J., and
    Quinn, T. J. (2001). Movements and population structure of humpback whales in the North Pacific. Mar.
    Mamm. Sci., 17(4):769–794.
*Clapham, P. J., Young, S. B., and Brownell, R. L. (1999). Baleen whales: conservation issues and the status of
    the most endangered populations. Mamm. Rev., 29(1):35–60.
Laist, D. W., Knowlton, A. R., Mead, J. G., Collet, A. S., and Podesta, M. (2001). Collisions between ships and
    whales. Mar. Mamm. Sci., 17(1):35–75.
Hawaii Superferry Community and Environment site:
NOAA Stock Assessment Reports and Recovery Plans for humpback whales:
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

5. Is the harp seal hunt humane?
In March 2007, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador posted a website dedicated
to dispelling „myths‟ related to the harp seal hunt. They contend that “the harp seal harvest is
one of the most tightly regulated harvests in the world” and is conducted in a humane
manner. The Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was going
to write an open letter to the Newfoundland and Labrador government in response but has
decided first to ask you for an unbiased account of the harp seal hunt. They want help
deciding whether they should pursue this issue further. They want you to review the
scientific evidence on whether the use of club-like tools called hakipiks is the most humane
way to kill these animals. You are asked to discuss advantages and problems associated with
using other methods (such as shooting animals). The treatment of seals in Canada is
governed by the Marine Mammals Regulations (see below). How does the treatment of seals
during the hunt compare with other seal hunts worldwide? In regards to humane practices, is
the Canadian harp seal hunt “one of the most tightly regulated harvests in the world”?

*Daoust, P. Y., Crook, A., Bollinger, T. K., Campbell, K. G., and Wong, J. (2002). Animal welfare and the harp
   seal hunt in Atlantic Canada. Can. Vet. J., 43(9):687–694.
Independent Veterinarians‟ Working Group. 2005. Improving humane practice in the Canadian harp seal hunt.
    Available at:
European Food Safety Authority. 2007. Animal Welfare aspects of the killing and skinning of seals - Scientific
Opinion of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare. Available at:
Fisheries & Aquaculture of NFLD & Labrador:
Report of the NAMMCO workshop on hunting methods for seals and walrus. Published be the North
American Marine Mammal Conservation Commission:
Canada Gazette (2007) Regulations amending the marine mammals regulations. December 22nd , 2007. Canada
Gazette Part II.
Seals and Sealing in Canada, DFO Reports:

6. Military sonar
The impact of anthropogenic noise in the oceans is a hotly debated issue. Some scientists
contend that the use of loud military sonars have negative impacts on marine mammal
populations. The US Navy wants to establish a new warfare training range off Cape
Hatteras, North Carolina to prepare sailors for antisubmarine missions in shallow waters.
Over 160 high intensity acoustic exercises would be conducted each year. Out of concern for
the many marine mammal species that inhabit and migrate through this area, the Natural
Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is considering taking legal action against the US Navy.
They have hired you to prepare a report outlining the impacts of sonar on cetacean
populations. Specifically they want you to address these questions: What are the potential
impacts of sonar on marine mammals? What evidence exists that marine mammals have
been negatively impacted by sonars? What are the proposed mitigations to address these
impacts. Should they be opposed to the training range or should they request that particular
mitigations be used?

*Cox, T., Ragen, T., Read, A., Vos, E., Baird, R., Balcomb, K., Barlow, J., Caldwell, J., Cranford, T., Crum, L.,
   D‟Amico, A., D‟Spain, G., Fernandez, A., Finneran, J., Gentry, R., Gerth, W., Gulland, F., Hildebrand, J.,
   Houser, D., Hullar, T., Jepson, P., Ketten, D., MacLeod, C., Miller, P., Moore, S., Mountain, D., Palka, D.,
   Rommel, S., Rowles, T., Taylor, B., Tyack, P., Wartzok, D., Gisiner, R., Mead, J., and Benner, L. (2006).
   Understanding the impacts of anthropogenic sound on beaked whales. J. Cetacean Res. Manag., 7(3):177–
*Nowacek, D. P., Thorne, L. H., Johnston, D. W., and Tyack, P. L. (2007). Responses of cetaceans to
   anthropogenic noise. Mammal Rev., 37:81–115.

7. Manatee conservation in the Americas
The West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) has a broad distribution that includes
different countries in North, Central and South America. You have been tasked with
organizing an international committee for the conservation of the West Indian Manatee
involving individuals from all three regions. You first need to provide a background
document which details each country/regions approach to manatee conservation in light of
local threats. This will involve exploring the following questions: What are the shared threats
to manatees in the Americas? What are current conservation strategies for this species?
Which strategies may be shared across the different jurisdictions?
Ultimately, you are asked to determine if it is possible to come up with a lateral, collaborative
approach to manatee conservation that crosses international boundaries?
Aipanjiguly, S., Jacobson, S. K. & R. Flamm. 2003. Conserving Manatees: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Intentions
    of Boaters in Tampa Bay, Florida. Conservation Biology, 17(4): 1098–1105.
*Jiménez, I. 2002. Heavy poaching in prime habitat: the conservation status of the West Indian manatee in
    Nicaragua. Oryx, 36(3): 272–278.
Olivera-Gómez, L. D. & E. Mellink. 2005. Distribution of the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) as
    a function of habitat characteristics, in Bahía de Chetumal, Mexico. Biological Conservation 121: 127–133.
*Vianna, J. A., Bonde, R. K., Caballero, S., Giraldo, J. P., Lima, R. P., Clark, A., Marmontel, M., Morales-Vela,
    B., De-Souza, M. J., Parr, L., Rodríguez-López, M. A., Migucci-Giannoni, A. A., Powell, J. A. & F. R.
    Santos. 2006. Phylogeography, phylogeny and hybridization in trichechid sirenians: implications for
    manatee conservation. Molecular Ecology, 15: 433–447.

8. Is dolphin-safe tuna dolphin safe?
Greenpeace wants to find out whether tuna sold with the dolphin-safe label is dolphin safe.
That is, caught without dolphins being killed or injured in the process. They ask you to
review the process of declaring a tuna product as dolphin safe and to review the
management actions put in place in the Pacific Ocean tuna fisheries to diminish dolphin
bycatch. In your opinion, is tuna currently caught dolphin-safe? Is there a difference between
the use of the label in Europe and the US?

Gosliner, M. L. (1999). The tuna-dolphin controversy. In John R. Twiss, J. and Reeves, R. R., editors,
    Conservation and management of marine mammals, pages 120–155. Smithsonian Institution Press.
*Hall, M. A. (1998). An ecological view of the tuna-dolphin problem: Impacts and trade-offs. Rev. Fish. Biol.
    Fish., 8(1):1–34.
Final report of the scientific research program under the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), September 2002

9. Swimming with dusky dolphins in Kaikoura, New Zealand
One of the most popular tourist activities in Kaikoura, New Zealand is swimming with wild
dusky dolphins through the organization “Dolphin Encounters”. Each trip is usually one to
two hours with perhaps half of that time with the dolphins. Two boats often go out at a time
multiple times a day. Tour operators point out that the dolphins choose to stay with the
boats, but in reality the process often involves a fair amount of chasing/following the pods.
Dusky dolphins are particularly curious and playful and often swim around the boats and
people for long lengths of time. Some studies have shown that dolphins may behave
differently around humans and over time increasingly avoid these encounters. There is the
potential that these activities may cause them to expend unnecessary energy and/or change
their long-term natural behaviour. The New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC)
has commissioned you to evaluate the available literature and report back to them. They
want to know: Is there sufficient concern that they should commission a long term study of
this situation? What might the impacts on dusky dolphins be? Given the available literature,
should the current swim-with-dolphins program be allowed to continue in its current
capacity? Are there any measures they could take right now to reduce the risk of impacting
these populations?

Constantine, R. (2001). Increased avoidance of swimmers by wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops runcatus) due
   to long-term exposure to swim-with-dolphin tourism. Mar. Mamm. Sci., 17(4):689–702.
Duprey, N.M.T., Weir, J. S., and Wursig, B. (2008). Effectiveness of a voluntary code of conduct in reducing
    vessel traffic around dolphins. Ocean and Coastal Management, 51: 632-637.
*Kyngdon, D., Minto, E. O., and Stafford, K. J. (2003). Behavioural responses of captive common dolphins
    Delphinus delphis to a „Swim-with-Dolphin‟ programme. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 81(2):163–170.
*Lusseau, D. and Higham, J. E. S. (2004). Managing the impacts of dolphin- based tourism through the
    definition of critical habitats: The case of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) in Doubtful Sound, New
    Zealand. Tourism. Manag., 25(6):657–667.
Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura:
New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC), Effects of tourism on marine mammals in New Zealand:

10. Cat litter and marine mammals: A toxic mix?
Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, southern sea otters were hunted to near
extinction in the 19th century. At less than 2000 individuals in 1977, they were granted
protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Since then there has been minimal
recovery. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite shed in cat feces that can lead to infection in other
animals. This parasite is believed to be a major cause of mortality for endangered sea otters
in California. Coastal runoff of infected water and the disposal of cat litter into the sewage
system may be among the reasons for the spread of the parasite. One method of
transmission may be through predation of oysters, which filter this parasite out of the water
leaving their tissue infected. The parasite attacks the otter‟s brain tissue and can cause
lesions, and convulsions, and eventually, death. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) has commissioned you to examine the literature on T. gondii and
marine mammal infection and report back to them. They want to know: How is T. gondii
known to affect marine mammals? How might they reduce these infections. To what extent
may T. gondii be impeding the recovery of the sea otters? What steps can they take to
promote their recovery?

*Conrad, P. A., Miller, M. A., Kreuder, C., James, E. R., Mazet, J., Dabritz, H., Jessup, D. A., Gulland, F., and
   Grigg, M. E. (2005). Transmission of Toxoplasma : Clues from the study of sea otters as sentinels of
   Toxoplasma gondii flow into the marine environment. Int. J. Parasitol., 35(11-12):1155–1168.
*Dubey, J. P., Zarnke, R., Thomas, N. J., Wong, S. K., Van Bonn, W., Briggs, M., Davis, J. W., Ewing, R.,
   Mense, M., Kwok, O. C. H., Romand, S., and Thul- liez, P. (2003). Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum,
   Sarcocystis neurona, and Sarcocystis canis-like infections in marine mammals. Vet. Parasitol., 116(4):275– 296.
*Fayer, R., Dubey, J., and Lindsay, D. (2004). Zoonotic protozoa: From land to sea. Trends Parasitol.,
*Miller, M. A., Gardner, I. A., Kreuder, C., Paradies, D. M., Worcester, K. R., Jessup, D. A., Dodd, E., Harris,
   M. D., Ames, J. A., Packham, A. E., and Conrad, P. A. (2002). Coastal freshwater runoff is a risk factor for
   Toxoplasma gondii infection of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis ). Int. J. Parasitol., 32(8):997–1006.
*Miller, M. A., Grigg, M. E., Kreuder, C., James, E. R., Melli, A. C., Crosbie, P. R., Jessup, D. A., Boothroyd, J.
   C., Brownstein, D., and Conrad, P. A. (2004). An unusual genotype of Toxoplasma gondii is common in
   California sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis ) and is a cause of mortality. Int. J. Parasitol., 34(3):275–284.
NOAA Magazine, Parasite in Cats Killing Sea Otters:

11. The Management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
Ten years after first discussions opened on the creation of a marine protected area to
conserve the Moray Firth bottlenose dolphin population, the European Union, alongside the
local governing body, the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), finally conferred full Special
Area of Conservation status of the Moray Firth (equivalent to MPAs in Europe). There is
only one problem: the dolphin population is spending less and less time in that area!
Dolphin populations are dynamic and live in a varying environment. In light of this setback,
the European Union Environment Directorate commissions you to provide a better way to
protect this population. After reviewing the recent changes in the ecology of the Moray Firth
bottlenose dolphin population, you will weigh the pros and cons of the established MPA to
protect this population and provide advice on ways in which it can be changed to
accommodate for the long-term behaviour of this population.

Hoyt, E. (2005). Marine protected areas for whales, dolphins, and porpoises: A world handbook for cetacean
    habitat conservation. Earthscan, London, U.K.
*Wilson, B., Reid, R., Grellier, K., Thompson, P., and Hammond, P. (2004). Considering the temporal when
    managing the spatial: a population range expansion impacts protected areas-based management for
    bottlenose dolphins. Animal Conservation, 7:331–338.

12. Impacts of offshore wind farms on harbour porpoises
There is increasing pressure to build large offshore wind farms off the coast of Western
Europe. There is concern that the construction and operation of these wind farms, which
can span up to 30km2, may substantially impact harbour porpoises, among other species.
Recently, a large (>100 MW) wind farm was constructed off of Denmark and studies have
indicated that the construction of this wind farm may have affected harbour porpoise use of
the habitat (Carstensen et al. 2006). The Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy is
interested in building another plant, but is concerned about the impact on the harbour
porpoises. They have commissioned you to advise them: (1) Given the recent literature, what
might be the impacts on the porpoises? (2) Given these impacts, can they justify going
ahead? (3) If they go ahead, what mitigation measures could they implement to reduce these
impacts? Consider both the construction and operation of these wind farms and draw on
both specific studies of wind farms and porpoises but also on general studies of the impact
of noise on marine mammals.

Carstensen, J., Henriksen, O. D., and Teilmann, J. (2006). Impacts of offshore wind farm construction on
   harbour porpoises: Acoustic monitoring of echolocation activity using porpoise detectors (T-PODs). Mar.
   Ecol. Prog., 321:295–308.
Koschinski, S., Culik, B., Henriksen, O., Tregenza, N., Ellis, G., Jansen, C., and Kathe, G. (2003). Behavioural
   reactions of free-ranging porpoises and seals to the noise of a simulated 2 MW windpower generator. Mar.
   Ecol. Prog., 265:263–273.
Madsen, P., Wahlberg, M., Tougaard, J., Lucke, K., and Tyack, P. (2006). Wind turbine underwater noise and
   marine mammals: Implications of current knowledge and data needs. Mar. Ecol. Prog., 309:279–295.
Bach, S., Teilmann, J., Henriksen, O.D. (2000). Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of offshore
windfarms at Rødsand and Omø Stalgrunde, Denmark - A technical report on harbour porpoises.

13. Right whales and trap fisheries
The North Atlantic right whale is a critically endangered marine mammal with its population
currently hovering somewhere around 400 individuals. Its population continues to decline
despite being protected for the last 70 years. The majority of photographed right whales
show signs of fishing gear entanglement, mainly from pot fisheries and other fixed fisheries.
The Canadian Fishermen for Ocean Protection Society (*fictional) has asked you to prepare
a report outlining this issue (generally and specifically in Canada) and providing them with
recommendations of what could be done to limit this threat. They want to know: Which
fisheries are implicated (consider trap and fixed gear fisheries)? What mitigation measures
have been put in place (in the US or Canada if they exist)? Are there any suggestions you
would make based on entanglement examples from elsewhere in the world? Give
recommendation on the best set of solutions/mitigations which the fishermen's society
should recommend to DFO to be implemented in Canada.

Caswell, H., Fujiwara, M., and Brault, S. (1999). Declining survival probability threatens the North Atlantic
    right whale. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96(6):3308–13.
Johnson, A., Salvador, G., Kenney, J., Robbins, J., Landry, S., and Clapham, P. (2005). Fishing gear involved in
    entanglements of right and humpback whales. Mar. Mamm. Sci., 21(4):635–645.
Kraus, S. D. (1990). Rates and potential causes of mortality in North-Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).
    Mar. Mamm. Sci., 6(4):278–291.
Kraus, S. D., Brown, M. W., Caswell, H., Clark, C. W., Fujiwara, M., Hamilton, P. K., Kenney, R. D.,
    Knowlton, A. R., Landry, S., Mayo, C. A., McLellan, W. A., Moore, M. J., Nowacek, D. P., Pabst, D. A.,
    Read, A. J., and Rolland, R. M. (2005). North Atlantic right whales in crisis. Science, 309(5734):561–562.
NOAA Fisheries Service: 2007 Final ALWTRP Modifications:
Recovery Plan for the North Atlantic right whale. 2005:
DFO Science Advisory Report (2007). Recovery potential assessment for right whale (Western North Atlantic

14. Conflict between longline fisheries and cetaceans
In recent decades, pelagic longline fisheries have undergone a rapid expansion, partly in
response to other declining capture fisheries. With this expansion has come an increased
number of interactions between longline fisheries and cetaceans. The predation of fish from
longlines appears to be increasing globally both in frequency and in the number of cetacean
species implicated. One of the main species involved in this process is the sperm whale.
Some fishermen have estimated that their catch decreases by up to 25% in the presence of
sperm whales. The North Pacific Longliners Association (NPLA) has commissioned you to
review the issue. How much of a problem is this? How could they reduce these interactions?
Could these interactions be affecting the sperm whales foraging behaviour and ultimately be
affecting their conservation? What are the implications for fisheries monitoring and

*Purves, M. G., Agnew, D. J., Balguerias, E., Moreno, C. A., and Watkins, B. (2004). Killer whale (Orcinus orca)
   and sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) interactions with longline vessels in the Patagonian toothfish fishery
   at South Georgia, South Atlantic. CCAMLR Science, 11:111–126.
Nolan, C.P., G.M. Liddle and J. Elliot. 2000. Interactions between killer whales (Orcinus orca) and sperm whale
   (Physeter macrocephalus) with a longline fishing vessel. Marine mammal science 16(3): 658-664.
Rosa, L.D. and E.R. Secchi. 2007. Killer hale Orcinus orca) interactions with the tuna and swordfish longline
   fishery off southern and south-eastern Brazil: comparison with shark interactions. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K.
   87: 135-140.
*Roche, C., Guinet, C., Gasco, N., and Duhamel, G. (2007). Marine mammals and demersal longline fishery
   interactions in Crozet and Kerguelen Exclusive Economic zones: An assessment of depredation levels.
   CCAMLR Science, 14:67–82.
15. Acoustic harassment devices in aquaculture
Aquaculture sites often use acoustic harassment devices (AHDs) to minimize pinniped
conflicts. These high-powered harassment devices are intended to produce sound that is
loud enough to be painful for pinnipeds and thereby deter them from approaching
fishfarms. Emitted sound is often near 200 dB. There is concern that these devices may
adversely affect other pinniped populations, such as harbour porpoises, by excluding them
from vital portions of their habitat used for foraging and prevent travel between portions of
their habitat. A new fish farm off of Grand Mannan is considering the use of AHDs to
reduce conflict with seals. Should they be allowed to proceed? How much of a problem do
pinnipeds present to fish farms? What species might these AHDs affect? What evidence is
there that these devices impact natural pinniped foraging behaviour? How might this impact
pinniped populations? What role does habituation play? Are there other risks associated with
AHDs and pinnipeds? Are there alternatives? Might there be risks to other organisms in the

*Fjalling, A., Wahlberg, M., and Westerberg, H. (2006). Acoustic harassment devices reduce seal interaction in
    the Baltic salmon-trap, net fishery. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 63:1751–1758.
Johnston, D. (2002). The effect of acoustic harassment devices on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the
    Bay of Fundy, Canada. Biological Conservation, 108:113–118.
*Nowacek, D. P., Thorne, L. H., Johnston, D. W., and Tyack, P. L. (2007). Responses of cetaceans to
    anthropogenic noise. Mammal Rev., 37:81–115.
Olesiuk, P.F., L.M. Nichol, M.J. Sowden and J.K.B. Ford. 2002.. Effect of the sound generated by an acoustic
    harassment device on the relative abundance and distribution of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in
    Retreat Passage, British Columbia. Marine Mammal Science 18(4): 843-862.

16. Pearl farms and dugongs
Shark Bay, Western Australia is a highly productive areas encompassing vast sea grass beds.
The bay is therefore home to one of the largest dugong populations in the world. An
existing pearl farm of 10 acres is size wishes to triple it‟s area (*fictional). The tourist
operators in the bay are concerned that this practice could cause sea bed degradation and in
turn, impact the dugong population. They have hired you to determine if this is likely to
occur and if so, what will the effects be? How do dugongs interact with seagrass beds? Why
do they use them? Do dugongs have a preference for particular sea grass beds? If so, how
could the expansion of pearl farms impact their use of the area and thus, the population?

Wirsing, A. J., M. R. Heithaus, and L. M. Dill. 2007. Living on the edge: dugongs prefer foraging microhabitats
    that allow escape rather than avoidance of predators. Animal Behaviour 74: 93-101.
Wirsing, A. J., M. R. Heithaus, and L. M. Dill. 2007. Fear factor: Do dugongs (Dugong dugon) trade food for
    safety from tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier)? Oecologia 153: 1031-1040.
Wirsing, A. J., M. R. Heithaus, and L.M. Dill. 2007. Can you dig it? Use of excavation, a risky foraging tactic, by
    dugongs is sensitive to predation danger. Animal Behaviour 74(4): 1085-1091
Heithaus, M. R., L. M. Dill, G. J. Marshall, and B. Buhleier. 2002. Habitat use and foraging behavior of tiger
    sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in a sea grass ecosystem. Marine Biology 140: 237-248.
Shark Bay Ecosystem Research Project
17. Oil spills and marine mammals
On March 24, 1989 the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince
William Sound, Alaska, spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil across 1,300
miles of coastline. As a result, between 1000-2800 sea otters and over 300 harbour seals were
found dead during the days following the spill. The Friends of Vancouver Island Society are
concerned about a recent proposal to ship oil into the West Coast of Vancouver Island
(*fictional scenario and organization). They specifically are concerned about the impacts an
oil spill could have on the marine mammals inhabiting this region. They have hired you to
investigate this issue. Specifically, they want to know: What are the potential impacts from
oil spills on marine mammals? Does oil impact all species in the same manner? Are there
long-term impacts? If so, through what mechanisms? Are mitigations currently being
investigated or implemented to improve vessel structure so that oil spills won‟t occur? What
mitigations would you recommend be implemented?

Loughlin, T.R., Eds. 1994. Marine mammals and the Exxon Valdez. Academic Press, San Diego.
Garrott, R.A., L.L.Eberhardt, D.M.Burn.1993. Mortality of sea otters in Prince William Sound following the
    Exxon Valdez oil spill. Marine Mammal Science. 9: 343-360.
NMFS Office of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Damage Assessment and Restoration

18. Research techniques to study individual marine mammals
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) wants to develop
an official policy for studying distribution of marine mammals using mark-recapture
techniques. To do this you‟ve been asked to prepare a report comparing and contrasting the
techniques available for individual identification that would allow you to do a mark-recapture
study. They have a number of questions such as: Can natural markings be used? Could
branding or tags be used? Are there ethical issues which need to be considered for each
method? What are the potential impact of the marks on the individuals? How is this
information collected (i.e. how would they collect the information from each technique)?
After reviewing the information available, provide advice on the best technique to be used
taking care to balance information that can be retrieved from the research program and the
welfare of the studied population.

*Beausoleil, N.J. and D.J. Mellor. 2007. Investigator responsibilities and animal welfare issues raised by hot
   branding of pinnipeds. Australian Veterinary Journal 85(12): 484-485.
McMahon, C.R., C.J.A. Bradshaw, G.C. Hays. 2006. Branding can be justified in vital conservation research.
   Nature 439: 392
McMahon, C.R. 2007. Branding the seal branders: what does the research say about seal branding? Australian
   Veterinary Journal 85(12) :482-484.
Whitehead H., Christal J., Tyack P. 2000. Studying Cetacean Social Structure in Space and Time. Pp. 65-87. In: Mann
   J., Connor R.C., Tyack P.L., Whitehead H. 2000. Cetacean Societies: Field Studies of Dolphins and Whales.
   University of Chicago Press. Chicago.
Hammond P. S., S. A. Mizroch and G. P. Donovan, eds. 1990. Individual recognition of cetaceans: Use of
   photo-identification and other techniques to estimate population parameters. Report of the International
   Whaling Commission (Special Issue) 12.
Hall, A., S. Moss and B. McConnell. 2000. A new tag for identifying seals. Marine mammal science 16(1): 254-
National Marine Mammal Laboratory:

19. CITES and Maori carvings
Most marine mammals are listed through CITES (Convention on International Trade in
Endangers Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which aims to ensure that international trade in
specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The Maori of New
Zealand traditionally carved whalebone and there is a growing market for whalebone
carvings. The current source of these bones are from stranded whales which subsequently
died. However many of these species are listed in CITES Appendix II an export permit
issued by the New Zealand government is required in order to legally take these items out of
New Zealand. Other species are listed in CITES Appendix I, which means both and export
permit from New Zealand and an import permit from the destination country are required.
Several Maori tribes have asked the New Zealand government to issue a “blanket” export
permit for all of these carvings. You have been hired by the New Zealand government to
recommend whether they should issue this permit. You will need to investigate CITES
regulations, the cetacean species that are used for these carvings, and their status in New

Bradshaw, C. J. A., Evans, K. and Hindell, M. A. (2006). Mass cetacean strandings – a plea for empiricism.
         Conservation Biology. 20:584-586.
Brabyn, M. (1994). New Zealand herd stranding sites do not relate to Geomagnetic topography. Marine
         Mammal Science. 10:195-

20. Release of captive cetaceans into the wild
Release of captive cetaceans into the wild is a controversial issue that has important moral, ethical, economical
and ecological implications. You‟ve received an invitation from the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and
Aquariums to provide some advice regarding whether they should support a program to release captive
cetaceans from aquariums and zoos (*fictional scenario). To do this, you need to conduct an investigation in
order to answer the following questions: How are cetaceans released back into the marine environment? What
needs to be considered? Is it successful? What are the ecological, moral, ethical and economical consequences
of releasing captive cetaceans? They are also interested in whether you think that the release of presently
captive cetaceans would increase visitor satisfaction with their institutions and increase overall financial success.
They would like you to recommend whether it is desirable to promote this program. If not, what do you
recommend? Why?
Bauer, G. B. 2005. Research Training for Releasable Animals. Conservation Biology 6(19): 1779–1789.
Waples, K. A. & S. S. Clifford. 1997. Ethical issues in the release of animals from captivity. Bioscience 47
Wells, R. & K. Bassos-Hu. 1998. Experimental return to the wild of two bottlenose dolphins. Marine Mammal
    Science 14(1):51-71.
21. The Vaquita: on the edge?
The Vaquita is an endemic cetacean that inhabits the northern Gulf of California. Given its
small population size, high mortality rate and the difficulty with which they can be surveyed,
some individuals argue that the conservation of this species should not be a priority since the
probability of extinction is already very high. You receive an invitation from the Mexican
Government to provide some advice regarding a management program for this species. To
do this, you should determine: What criteria are used to determine whether or not a species
should be conserved? Does the Vaquita meet these criteria? What is the status of this
population? What has the Mexican government already done in an attempt to conserve the
Vaquita? What is your advice to the Mexican government? If indeed the species can and
should be conserved, what recommendations would you provide?

*Munguía-Vega, A., Esquer-Garrigos, Y., Rojas-Bracho, L., Vázquez-Juárez, R., Castro-Prieto, A., & S. Flores-
    Ramírez. 2007. Genetic drift vs. natural selection in a long-term small isolated population: major
    histocompatibility complex class II variation in the Gulf of California endemic porpoise (Phocoena sinus).
    Molecular Ecology, 16: 4051–4065.
*Rojas-Bracho, L., Reeves, R. R. & A. Jaramillo-Legorreta. 2006. Conservation of the vaquita Phocoena sinu.
    Mammal Reviews, 3(36): 179–216.
Jaramillo-Legorreta, A. & L. Rojas-Bracho. 1999. A new abundance estimate for Vaquitas: first step for
    recovery. Marine Mammal Science,15(4):957-973.
Rojas-Bracho, L. 1999. Risk factors affecting the vaquita (Phocoena sinus). Marine Mammal Science,15(4):974-989.
Taylor, B. 1999. Examining the risk of inbreeding depression in a naturally rare Cetacean, the vaquita (Phocoena
    sinus). Marine Mammal cience,15(4):1004-1028.
Vaquita marina:

22. Yangtze River Dolphins: functionally extinct or a shot in the dark?
In 2006, the Baiji foundation addressed that the Baiji river dolphin was “functionally” extinct.
Suppose that you are working as part of a scientific committee for providing advice to the
Chinese government about how to protect river dolphins in China. In order to do this, you
need to conduct an investigation that addresses the following questions: What were the
results of the 2006 expedition in search of the Baiji? Did it provide enough evidence to
declare this species functionally extinct? What does it mean to be functionally extinct?
Should conservation efforts aimed at the protection of Baiji dolphins be stopped? What
would you recommend that the Chinese government do to conserve the Baiji dolphin and
other cetaceans that inhabit freshwater ecosystems in Asia?

Guo, J. 2006. River Dolphins Down for the Count, and Perhaps Out. Science, 314: 1860.
Reeves, R. R. & N. J. Gales. 2006. Realities of Baiji Conservation. Conservation Biology 3 (20): 626–628.
Wang, D., Zhang, X., Wang, K., Wei, Z., Würsing, B., Braulik, J. T. & S. Ellis. 2006. Conservation of the Baiji:
    No Simple Solution. Conservation Biology, 3(20): 623–625.
Yang, G., Bruford, M. W., Wei, F. & K. Zhou. 2006. Conservation Options for the Baiji: Time for Realism?
    Conservation Biology, 3(20): 620–622.
*Zhang, X., Wang, D., Liu, R., Wei, Z., Hua, Y., Wang, Y., Chen, Z., & L. Wang. 2003. The Yangtze River
    dolphin or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer): population status and conservation issues in the Yangtze River, China.
    Aquatic Conser: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst. 13: 51–64.
23. Why are marine mammal brains thought to be complex?
Several factors have been used to explain the evolution of complexity in the marine mammal
brain; for instance sociability and echolocation. Recently, a controversial hypothesis
concerning this issue has attributed the complexity of marine mammal brains to
thermoregulation. Suppose that you received an invitation from the European Cetacean Society
to evaluate the various theories proposed to explain the complexity of marine mammal
brains. regarding . To do this, you will need to conduct an investigation to answer the
following questions:
What hypotheses exist to explain the complexity of marine mammal brains? What evidence
is there to support these hypotheses? Are these hypotheses mutually exclusive? What
suggestions for future research could be addressed for solving these controversies?

*Manger, P. R. 2006. An examination of cetacean brain structure with a novel hypothesis correlating
   thermogenesis to the evolution of a big brain. Biological Reviews, 81, 1-46.
Marino, L., Connor, C. R., Fordyce, R. E., Herman, L. M., Hof, P. R., Lefebvre, L., Lusseau, D., McCowan, B.,
   Nimchinsky, E. A., Pack, A. A., Rendell, L., Reidenberg, J. S., Reiss, D., Uhen, D. M., Van Der Gucht, E. &
   H. Whitehead. 2007. Cetaceans have complex brains for complex cognition. PLoS Biology, 5(5), e139.

24. Management of solitary and sociable cetaceans
Solitary and sociable cetaceans are individuals who seemingly choose, even if only
temporarily, the company of humans. Interactions between these individual cetaceans and
humans have created negative situations for both parties involved. You received an
invitation from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society to provide advice regarding a
management program for solitary and sociable cetaceans. To do this, you need to conduct an
investigation to answer the following questions: Using specific case studies, address the
following questions. What is the biological basis of this phenomena? What suggestions
could be made for management of these individuals? How can we include the concerns of
both biologists and the general public to address this problem?

Lockyer, C. 1990. Review of incidents involving wild, sociable dolphins, worldwide. In: Leatherwood, J. S. & R.
   Reeves (Eds.). The bottlenose dolphin. Academic Press: 337-53.
Müller M. & M. Bossley. 2002. Solitary bottlenose dolphins in comparative perspective. Aquatic Mammals, 28(3),
Wilke, M., Bossley, M. & W. Doak. 2005. Managing human interactions with solitary dolphins. Aquatic
   Mammals, 31(4), 427-433.
Simmonds, M.P., V. Williams-Grey and L. Stansfield. 2006. Managing human interactions with solitary sociable
   dolphins – two case studies. SC/58/WW5.
Simmonds, M.P. and L.R. Stansfield. 2007. Solitary Sociable Dolphins – an update from the UK.
   SC/59/WW10. Available at:
The Whale Stewardship Project:

25. How many whales were there?
For many years, scientists have relied upon historic whaling records to gauge the relative
population size of many species of cetaceans. However, more recently, scientists have used
genetic markers to predict the historical abundance of whale species, based on the principle
that population size should be reflected in relative population genetic variability. Recently,
the country of Iceland is reconsidering the prospect of whaling in the North Atlantic and
they are missing some key information in order to set quotas for the hunt. You are an
Icelandic biologist, and you have been tasked by your government to come up with the best
estimate of the historic population size of cetaceans (fin, minke & humpback) from pre-
whaling times. You are completely new to this subject area (you usually study the most
miniscule zooplankton), so before you can begin, you must first do a preliminary
investigation into the different ways of estimating population size, examining existing
techniques for doing so, weighing the pros and cons of each method, and giving an idea of
the methods and the relative uncertainty of both. This will involve a review of existing
studies which have attempted to do so for marine mammals. This will be the first report
that you present to your government, with your full recommendations as to the best way to
estimate population size (NOTE: you do not need to estimate actual historical population
sizes for these species, just determine which is the best way to generate a reliable measure of
abundance for the species).

Alter, S. E.; Rynes, E; and Palumbi S. P. 2007. DNA evidence for historic population size and past ecosystem
    impacts of gray whales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 15162-15167.
Holt, S.J. 2004. Counting Whales in the North Atlantic Science- a response. Science 303: 39-40
Roman, J. and Palumbi, S. R. 2003. Whales before whaling in the North Atlantic. Science 301:508-510.

26. Manatee protection
The main threat to Manatees in Florida is collision with recreational boaters. The
representatives of Brevard County want to mitigate this threat and are considering two
options: first, the establishment of Manatee Safe Zones restricting boat speed in locations
where manatees occur in high concentrations; second, the use of technology onboard vessels
to detect manatees in their vicinity. They contract you to review the pros and cons of each
technique (including issues relating to compliance) and advise on the best course of action to
reduce manatee mortality in their county, including potential alternatives to the presented

*Phillips R., C. Niezrecki and D.O. Beusse. 2006. Theoretical detection ranges for acoustic
    based manatee avoidance technology. Journal Of The Acoustical Society Of America
Aipanjiguly, S., S.K. Jacobson, R. Flamm. 2003. Conserving manatees: Knowledge, attitudes,
    and intentions of boaters in Tampa Bay, Florida. Conservation Biology 17 (4): 1098-1105
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service North Florida Field Office:
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute:

27. Ecosystem-based management: should we tinker?
Harp seals (Phoca groenlandica), hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) and minke whales (Balaenoptera
acutorostrata) are top predators in the North Atlantic Ocean. Humans are also top predators
in the North Atlantic ecosystem exploiting not only populations of fish and crustaceans but
also harp seal, hooded seal and minke whale populations. The commercial exploitation of
these three marine mammals was previously much more intense, which led to criticism and
demands for tighter regulation. Quotas were introduced, and since the 1970s, a major
research effort has been devoted to the assessment of the status and productivity of the
stocks. It is said that the stocks of these species are at or near historically high levels, and
that some of them may still be expanding quite rapidly. Managers concerned with managing
marine fisheries resources in the North Atlantic Ocean are worried about the potential for
increased competition from these marine mammals on already struggling fisheries. In several
places marine mammals are thus culled with the aim of increasing the biomass available to
fishermen under the label ecosystem-based management. You have to prepare a document
weighing the arguments for and against culling marine mammals in the North Atlantic to
benefit fisheries. How reliable is our knowledge of the size and growth of populations of the
three marine mammals in question? Is there a potential for increased competition with
fishermen? Is there evidence that culling the mammals will benefit fisheries?

Yodis 2001. Must top predators be culled for the sake of fisheries. Trends in Ecology and
    Evolution 16:78-84
Corkeron, P. 2006. Opposing views of the "Ecosystem Approach" to Fisheries Management.
    Conservation Biology 20(3):617-619
Lavigne 2003. Marine mammals and fisheries: the role of science in the culling debate. Pages
    31-47 In Ed. N. Gales, M. Hindell and R. Kirkwood, eds. Marine Mammals: Fisheries,
    Tourism and Management Issues. Csiro Publishing, Collingwood, Australia. Available
    from USF – St Pete library – order using interlibrary loan
Hammill and Stenson. 2000. Estimated Prey Consumption by Harp seals (Phoca
    groenlandica), Hooded seals Cystophora cristata), Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and
    Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) in Atlantic Canada. Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery
    Science 26:1–23
And just to give a different perspective….
DeMaster et al. 2001. Predation and competition: The impact of fisheries on marine-
    mammal populations over the next one hundred years. Journal of Mammalogy 82(3):641-

28. Dolphins dependent on human provisioning
The city of Wollongong is harbouring a population of bottlenose dolphins which spend a
large portion of their time in shallow waters near the beaches. They have become the center
of attraction for local tourism and the Mayor has decided to look into the possibility to start
a “feed-the-dolphins” program to capitalize on this new asset. He hires you to find out about
the pros and cons of dolphin provisioning and the best guidelines to manage it. Use existing
cases in Australia and abroad to guide your judgement.
Mark B. Orams, Greg J. E. Hill, Anthony J. Baglioni JR (1996)
    TANGALOOMA, AUSTRALIA Marine Mammal Science 12 (1), 107–117.
Mann J, R.C. Connor, L.M. Barre, M.R. Heithaus. 2000. Female reproductive success in
    bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.): life history, habitat, provisioning, and group-size
    effects. Behavioral Ecology 11 (2): 210-219
One place where dolphins are provisioned:
And another:

29. Re-introducing Walruses in the North Atlantic
The walrus was hunted to extinction in off eastern Canada in the 1700‟s. In order to restor
the area‟s ecology, “Sable Island Wild” (a fictional group) has proposed to move 50 walruses
from the Arctic to Sable Island. Is this really possible, and if it is should we do it? You have
been hired by a large conservation group in Canada to examine the ecological, ethical and
practical issues surrounding such a reintroduction and determine if they should support this
Seddon P.J., P.S. Soorae. 1999. Guidelines for subspecific substitutions in wildlife restoration
    projects. Conservation Biology 13(1):177-184
*Rondeau, D. 2001. Along the way back from the brink. Journal of Environmental
    Economics and Management 42, 156-182
John Pickrell. 2001. Dammed If You Do, Damned If You Don't? Science 292(5526):2422 –
Dyke, A. S., Hooper, J., Harrington, C. R. and Savelle, J. M., (1999). The late Wisconsian and
    Holcene record of Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) from North America: A feview with new
    data from Arctic and Atlantic Canada. Arctic 53: 160-181

30. Common dolphins disappearing from Mediterranean Sea
Common dolphins used to be common through out the Mediterranean Sea, but over the
past 50 years their numbers have plummeted and the Mediterranean subpopulation has been
listed by International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as
endangered since 2003. The BBC wants to do a documentary about this issue, and have
hired you to compile background information for the program. They want you to examine
how this could happen, what has caused the decline and what is being done and can be done
to save the Mediterranean common dolphins from extinction. To add some spice to the
program they also want to do some finger pointing and ask you to identify the responsible
parties, if these can be identified, and examine whether this is a case of mismanagement.
*Bearzi, G, R.R. Reeves, G. Notarbartolo-Di-Sciara, E. Politi, A. Cañadas, A. Frantzis And
     B. Mussi 2003. Ecology, status and conservation of short-beaked common dolphins
     Delphinus delphis in the Mediterranean Sea. Mammal Review 33(3):224-252
Bearzi, G. E. Politi, S. Agazzia and A. Azzellinoa. 2006. Prey depletion caused by overfishing
     and the decline of marine megafauna in eastern Ionian Sea coastal waters (central
     Mediterranean). Biological Conservation 127(4):373-382
Many good references available here:
IUCN listing:

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